ANDREW CAPPIE-WOOD, FORMER DIRECTOR GENERAL, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION AND TRAINING
The Hon. JENNIFER GARDINER: I direct my question without notice to the Minister for Education. What were the Minister's grounds for deciding to dismiss Andrew Cappie-Wood from the position of Director General of the Department of Education and Training? Is Mr Cappie-Wood still employed by the New South Wales Government in any capacity? If so, what is that capacity? In seeking a replacement for Mr Cappie-Wood, did the Minister receive any advice about the type of qualifications and experience that would be expected of a director general of education and training? If so, what was that advice? What were the grounds for the decision not to publicly advertise both nationally and internationally for a replacement for Mr Cappie-Wood given that the position of New South Wales Police Commissioner was recently advertised nationally? Since Mr Coutts-Trotter's appointment, have there been any other changes in senior staffing within the Department of Education and Training?
The Hon. JOHN DELLA BOSCA: In answering some of the questions that the honourable member put to me, the first issue that comes to mind is the situation with Mr Cappie-Wood. My latest advice is that he is on the displaced officers' list and is obviously being matched to positions that he might want to pursue. Secondly, the honourable member's approach is certainly the wrong way to assess the chain of the events that led to Mr Cappie-Wood's move. He moved onto the displaced officers' list because I identified an opportunity to appoint Mr Coutts-Trotter to the director general's position. I did not have the position advertised because, as a Minister responsible to the Crown and having taken an oath to administer the Education portfolio to the best of my ability, I identified the appropriate person to appoint as the Director General of the Department of Education and Training. Mr Coutts-Trotter is an excellent choice. He has demonstrated great management skills as the Director General of the Department of Commerce, and he is one of the most skilled people I know with regard to budget matters. He is also a person of great intelligence and integrity. I would not have anticipated The Nationals sinking so low as to make inferences about his appointment, and certainly not the Hon. Jenny Gardiner.
I guarantee that Michael Coutts-Trotter and I will work together to ensure great benefit for teachers and leadership support to make the New South Wales public education system world class. I have complete confidence in Michael Coutts-Trotter's ability in his role as Director General of the Department of Education and Training, and so has the Government.